Cavity Prevention in Kids: Tips for Parents
Dental care begins even before the baby starts teething. Using a damp cloth to wipe your baby’s gums will help clean harmful bacteria. Remember, just because you cannot see the teeth does not mean they are not there. Teeth begin to form while the child is still in the womb during the second trimester of pregnancy. Beginning teeth cleaning habits at an early age can help prevent dental issues.
Creating a Brushing Routine
Creating a routine is the best way to get children to embrace dental hygiene. Children respond and learn better when they have a routine. Habits learned in childhood often continue as the child grows through adolescence into adulthood. Show your child how to brush their teeth two times a day—in the morning and before bedtime. Consistent reinforcement will help overcome any initial resistance.
Assist and Supervise Brushing
The accumulation of debris and bacteria in the mouth can lead to cavities. When your child is younger, help them brush their teeth until they learn the skill. It will ensure that the cleaning is effective in removing all debris.
Left on their own, young children do not know how to brush their teeth. As the child gets older, be present to supervise and ensure they do it right. You can ensure they do not leave food that can cause cavities.
Using Fluoride Toothpaste
When buying toothpaste for your child, choose dental products with fluoride. Fluoride helps strengthen the tooth enamel, preventing the formation of cavities. Make sure you follow instructions on the amount of toothpaste to use.
Ensure your child spits out the toothpaste, but it is not necessary to rinse. It will allow the fluoride to stay on the teeth and continue to work. Dentists recommend using a fluoride toothpaste for children two years and above.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits
Scheduling regular dental appointments is a vital part of your child’s overall oral health. The dentist will look for early signs of tooth decay or cavities. Early detection is vital to ensure effective treatment. The dentist will also offer tips on how to care for your child’s teeth. You can also learn about issues such as dental trauma and the effects of thumb-sucking and snacking on dental health.
Reduce Intake of Sugar
Limit the amount of sugar that your child consumes each day. Sugar intake is directly linked to tooth decay and the formation of cavities. Talk to your doctor about the best nutrition plan for your child.
Remember, many drinks targeted at children contain sugar and bad dental health ingredients. Habits created in early childhood will stay with your child. Introducing a healthy diet early has long-term benefits.
The most effective way to teach your child good oral hygiene is by modeling the behavior. When your child sees how you value oral health, they will likely follow suit. Brushing your teeth alongside your child will help them know it is essential. Cavities can lead to pain and long-term dental issues, but prevention is always better than cure.
For more on cavity prevention in kids, visit The Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry at our Destin, Panama City Beach, or Navarre, Florida offices. Call 850-810-0300, 850-810-0600, or 850-409-6400 to schedule an appointment today.
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